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Story and photos by Matt SchwenkeTrading in their usual adornment of white robes for black military uniforms with universal symbols of peace patched on, the 20-plus members of Polyphonic Spree have added a bit of dark to their sound and image in support of their 2007 release Fragile Army, which is in contrast to their searingly bright and cheery image and sound that brought them success alongside their 2001 debut release The Beginning Stages of... The Polyphonic Spree.
Frontman and conductor Tim DeLaughter was in true entertainer form from the start in cutting a large heart out of a red sheet of cloth covering the stage to start the festival of sight and sound and later in continually dashing about the stage and in between the other musicians. The opening take of "Running Away" set the uplifting tone of the performance and represented the formula the band would use throughout the night in riling up the crowd. Even in the serious-minded "It's The Sun," DeLaughter delivered his vocals while laying on stage on his back and later gave the mic to a fan in the front row to sing the final chorus.
"I'm feeling really good tonight and it's all your fault," said DeLaughter toward the end of the show, but the comment was rather void of sincerity as DeLaughter appeared to be frustrated with the amount of people who had left the venue or remained deeply rooted in their seats. While most in the crowd lapped up the cheery excitement and visual feast found in the Polyphonic Spree's performance, the show bordered a fine line in being childishly optimistic without their new dark images and attempts at darker sounds balancing out the other end. But whether one views the glass half-empty or half-full, the Polyphonic Spree provided a show that, like their encore performance in their trademark white robes, was ultimately entertaining.
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